The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2015 Cooperative Agreements for Project LAUNCH State/Tribal Expansion. The purpose of this program is to expand the implementation of Project LAUNCH systems improvement and wellness promotion/ prevention services into new communities within states and tribes that have completed a Project LAUNCH five-year grant. The goals of this expansion grant are to improve early childhood systems, strengthen parenting competencies, and improve children’s developmental and behavioral outcomes in more communities.
Project LAUNCH is a national initiative that began in 2008 and has funded a total of 55 sites, including states, tribes, territories, communities, and the District of Columbia. The purpose of the Project LAUNCH initiative is to promote the wellness of young children from birth to 8 years of age by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of their development. Project LAUNCH pays particular attention to the social and emotional development of young children, and works to ensure that the systems that serve young children (including early child care and education, home visiting, and primary care) are equipped to promote and monitor social and emotional development, and intervene to prevent mental, emotional and behavioral disorders in early childhood and into the early elementary grades.
The purpose of the Project LAUNCH Expansion grants is for states and tribes that have implemented innovative practices and systems changes in one pilot community through an “original” Project LAUNCH grant to expand these practices to other communities within the state/tribe (or to additional tribes). Lessons learned from the first 6 years of the initiative suggest that while states can bring about positive changes, and improve child outcomes in a pilot community during the course of an original LAUNCH grant, additional time is needed to replicate and spread these practices beyond the pilot community. The Project LAUNCH Expansion grants will provide states and tribes the opportunity for broader dissemination of these innovative practices and policies that will lead to better outcomes for young children and families. Consistent with SAMHSA’s Theory of Change, this program builds on previous LAUNCH efforts and aims to expand best practices in early childhood wellness promotion and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders into new communities, thereby furthering implementation of the effective practices.
The Project LAUNCH Expansion grant opportunity closely aligns with SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives on Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness and Trauma and Justice. This grant program aims to focus resources on communities, families and children who are at high risk for experiencing trauma, or who have already experienced trauma, with a goal of promoting wellness, preventing mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, and supporting early detection and referral to treatment for children and family members experiencing behavioral health issues, including substance abuse.
The Project LAUNCH Expansion grant program also seeks to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use, and outcomes among the racial and ethnic minority populations served. (See PART II: Appendix G – Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities.)
Project LAUNCH Expansion grants are authorized under Section 520A of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-MHMD.